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Cheney tech firm purchased

Thu., Dec. 28, 2006

One of Cheney’s largest companies, XN Technologies, has been purchased by a Texas electronics manufacturer, the two firms announced recently.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed, said Al Hale, former president of XN Technologies.

The company, at 2416 Cheney Spokane Road, has about 150 workers. It designs and manufactures high-performance audio-visual switches and control equipment for industrial and residential users. Among its customers are the U.S. Navy and the ESPN network, said Hale.

AMX, based in Richardson, Texas, has said it intends to increase the size of the Cheney site, Hale noted.

“This is an everybody-wins situation,” said Hale, adding that some production done at a United Kingdom firm acquired recently by AMX will be shifted to Cheney.

Hale started the company in 1989 with initial contracts for advanced signal-control equipment for the U.S. Air Force. Before that, Hale was on the faculty at Eastern Washington University.

He cited two factors helping drive the sale, discussion of which began a year ago.

“One was retirement. Two, it was just the right timing. Both for us, for AMX and the market,” said Hale. The two companies had worked side-by-side in the audio-visual signal management market for several years, said Hale.

Hale will focus some of his time on helping the growth of XN Air, an avionics and aviation services firm at the Spokane airport.

The market leader in the audio-visual control market is Crestron Electronics, based in New Jersey. But Hale said he expects AMX to challenge Crestron in several years.

The sale involved the total transfer of all XN stock to the new owners, added Hale.

He and other family members continue to own the two main company buildings in Cheney. AMX has signed a five-year lease for the two buildings with a five-year option, Hale said.

Business writer Tom Sowa can be reached at (509) 459-5492 or at


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